The name Vlkolínec sounded like a folk tale to me. I’d heard it many times before, and every time the story was different. A wooden village in the Slovak Mala Fatra, a traditional Slovak village in the Velke Fatra, something to see, something not worth it.
Not the first time it happens, and certainly not the last time. In our quest for the truth and our fight against the embellished reality, we headed towards this mythical village called
After having seen the beautiful Hronsek, I was expecting a whole village built in the same architecture and within the same conditions. But Vlkolínec is nothing like it.
First of all, it’s a real village. With people living in it. And that gives it an incredible charm, being far from the tourism business.
Vlkolínec apparently existed before 1376 and was the home of shepherds, loggers and farmers.
Actually, some shepherds still live there
A typical Slovak village, lost at the top of the mountain, with an amazing view over the Fatras, and protected by the UNESCO (like many other sites in Slovakia). The houses were built by the people themselves, which explains why they used wood. However, if Slovak wooden structures are usually rough and bare, these houses are charmingly colourful and their foundations are made of stone.
Very different from structures like Hronsek then.
Anyway, for visitors in a rush the walk around the village takes half an hour. But if you have learnt how to appreciate the views of Slovakia the way Slovaks do, the visit can last much longer. Cycling and hiking trails start or pass by Vlkolínec, some houses have rooms for rent and there’s even a small café and a tiny museum.
Vlkolínec was nothing like I thought it would be, but so much more. I loved every second of our time there, feeling lost in time, watching the people getting on with their lives in the middle of the beautiful surroundings, the colourful streets and the goat herd. There’s something peaceful and quiet that made me want to spend more time there, that made me want to buy a house there for the weekends.
If you ask me, I’d put Vlkolínec in the top five of my favourite things in Slovakia.